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New MP3 Insider podcast

by Veronica Belmont-20381073359499778927797251280312 / April 13, 2006 9:45 AM PDT

James Kim (Senior editor of digital audio) and I are hosting a new podcast, called MP3 Insider. I would like you guys to give it a listen and give feedback before I make it public!! This is a beta, we just want to know what more we could do to make it better for next week.

Thanks everyone!!

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BOL Three Breakout into their own Podcasts
by teddkg / April 13, 2006 10:14 AM PDT

Hey V! Its great to see you in your own Podcast together with James. Opinion of Podcast...

Listened all the way through it. Liked the music (better than Tom's so far), like the sector you are covering & the info of the Video and Audio! Especially since Video is going to go out of this world crazy in the next few months on the Net.

Suggestion for the future: Focus on services & sites & less on Hardware (80-20) <although that is pretty much what you did in this Podcast>. Reason is two fold: 1, Many have already choosen their hardware, 2- We purchase less hardware & more services.

I think it will be a fascinating Podcast!


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Sounds great
by archaeo1 / April 13, 2006 10:37 AM PDT

But I'm going to have to start listening to all my CNET podcasts during dinner to get finished with all of them by the night, or completely switch my listening schedule.

Doesn't matter much to me, I can't wait for this one to go live!

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don't worry!
by Veronica Belmont-20381073359499778927797251280312 / April 13, 2006 11:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Sounds great

this one is only weekly!

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by archaeo1 / April 13, 2006 12:59 PM PDT
In reply to: don't worry!

That cuts down on my "I'm listening to CNET and not doing everything else I should be doing" time!!

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great start
by decjr / April 13, 2006 11:16 AM PDT

great start James and Veronica. interesting info. James, you're pacing on the fast side. nice input from Veronica. I like the news then side commentary and analysis.

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I enjoyed it.
by AndyInTN / April 13, 2006 11:16 AM PDT

I think that if you keep the topics centered around digital music players & stores, I think that will help with keeping from overlapping with some of the other shows on CNET.

Ya'll mentioned a couple of sites and I'd like to throw this one in, I use it to listen to a lot of vocal trance music, you can listen to the streams for free or pay for the music on their store. I thought James Kim might be interested since they have trance & dance type of music.

I enjoyed the show. Look forward to hearing more.

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it's a start
by alpabarot / April 13, 2006 12:00 PM PDT

only weird part was the theme music. sounds like an 80s video game.

it will be good when you start getting into product reviews, strengths and weaknesses of players and services.

Right now it seems the industry is handcuffed by itunes and DRM incompatibility. Basically promoting pirating because those are the only people who can play all their mp3s on any device.

Question, are people really going to use video on their ipod? I only see that being useful when stationary, like when commuting.

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Sounds good.
by jemsbarr / April 13, 2006 3:27 PM PDT

I listened to it just now as I was cruising the forum.

I'm wondering, as most listeners will be audiophiles, if there's some way you could feature a clip of the "track of the week". Maybe at the end as a lead-out? Most of the audience will be big into music - why not leverage that fact.

Now if you apply a little biz-model to the show, maybe that track is sponsored by iTunes (or AllTunes, or whoever, maybe the recording label itself) where it is available for download?

Anyway, that was a tangent... sorry about that.

Let me just say that I liked your inaugural podcast, and look forward to many more.

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(NT) (NT) On the right path.
by rechellesharp / April 13, 2006 4:06 PM PDT
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Sounded a little "muffled" and had some echo problems
by cardsbb9 / April 13, 2006 6:03 PM PDT

The sound was not as crisp as BOL is and I think I detected a bit of an echo, hard to tell on the echo.

Listening was an extra effort, so much so that I did not get past half-way on the MP3.

Content was OK - but didn't hold my interest over and above the audio quality problems I listed above.

If I were listing to this on the iPod Nano on the bus on the way to work I would have skipped to another podcast within the first 10 seconds.... even though I just acquired some Bose headphones. The extra noise of the bus would have made it a complete waste of time.

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that's weird

because it was done identically to BOL. same mics, same encoding, same program... everything.

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Hum what can I say
by lumpy_wilson / April 14, 2006 6:39 AM PDT

i loved the topic the leanght of the show is good but the only thing is the qulity. Otherwise can't wait to here more.

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very confused
by Veronica Belmont-20381073359499778927797251280312 / April 14, 2006 6:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Hum what can I say

the quality is the same as BOL.... or else, it should be. do you think BOL sounds bad now? i'm curious.

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This is not a "it's not you, you're perfect" post, but
by Ravensblood / April 14, 2006 9:19 AM PDT
In reply to: very confused

it really isn't you. you sound exactly the same as you do on BOL. It's James that sounds a little muffled or nasal (I can't decide what it is)... maybe it's that he isn't used to projecting his voice? Maybe you can tweak him to crispen (look, I just made up a word) up his voice a little.

It was definitely interesting enough to keep my attention. I like that James isn't Apple-centric, if only for the novelty of what else is available Wink . You can include hardware reviews such as the best speakers, headphones, etc when you are hurting for material. like compare the high end stuff for computers, 2.1, 5.1, etc. that are also compatible with players (which are pretty much all of them).

I know it's not the iPod insider, but you may even have a segment with your podcast of the week.

I'm sure you've thought of this stuff already, but I'm saying that I'd like to hear it.

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Now that I think of it.....
by cardsbb9 / April 14, 2006 3:32 PM PDT

Veronica you did sound just like you do on BOL. Perhaps it is James' microphone? perhaps it is his speaking voice? don't know but something is making it hard to 'listen through' to what he is saying.

Tom in BOL comes across quite easy to understand and listen to. Do you each have your own 'individual microphone' that you carry around with you and not let anyone else use?

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Sounded good to me
by limburger2001 / April 15, 2006 8:01 AM PDT
In reply to: very confused

didn't experience any quality issues with the version I downloaded. Anyhoo, loved the podcast (always good to hear a friendly, cheery voice - and your good too V :P)
ps: mp3 hardware talk good

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Something not right about the sound from my POV...
by jojosho / April 19, 2006 12:46 AM PDT
In reply to: very confused

I also immediately perceived a odd 'quality' about the sound. It may not have been a technical issue - the confusion that V has in reconciling the inquires about MP3 Insider sound vs BOL sound (BOL sounds as good as ever, to me) - but the qualities of the voices in the MP3 Insider podcast. Something just didn't work for me in hearing those particular voices together.

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by beelissa / April 14, 2006 12:45 PM PDT

I liked it, esp. that it's not just going to be about iPods. Being that I'm a non-iPod user, that's a big plus.

Not sure about the intro music, but maybe it will grow on me. Not as catchy as the BOL music.

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A good start, a few thoughts
by bobcl23 / April 14, 2006 8:18 PM PDT

Thought number 1: advice is easy to solicit but you can never follow everything you get.

More thoughts:

My first mp3 player is a sony walkman that plugs into the tape deck adapter of my 1995 Ford Escort. My second mp3 player is RealPlayer running on Dell C600 running RHEL4. My daughter's mp3 player is an iriver t30 that I bought for her at Christmas based on a CNET review. It was the best of the cheapest I could find. I have no idea if I'm typical but it occurs to me that you might want to spend an episode or two looking at the higher end of the lower-priced tech that's out there.

When I saw the words MP3 Insider, I thought you were doing a survey of tasty new podcasts! I was disappointed to find that most of the discussion was surrounding Ipods and Apples.

(Maybe I've been poor too long, because I find myself confused: if you can afford a MacBook Pro and an Ipod that plays video, why are you guys complaining about having to pay for music downloads?)

I'm in IT so I have a built-in interest in technology and would probably still have a reason for continuing to occasionally listen; but I find myself wishing you would think about introducing stuff that appeals to you on a personal level and wondering what other reasons people will have to use their ipods to listen to a show about ipods...
<beginning of ideological rant>
James says "it's all about choice". Good. But the best way to have choices is to promote open standards that everyone can use without fear of retribution (or copy protection) from obnoxious industry associations masquerading as government entities and obscure European companies trying to cash in on software patents. Talk about ogg voorbis and flac as standards instead of wma and mp3 which are both proprietary. The only down side is that big companies like Apple and Sony that produce technology everyone uses won't adopt these standards unless 1) people start putting stuff out that uses them and 2) they see smaller companies making decent players that use them. Talk about that...
</end of ideological rant>
I enjoyed the show. Good luck!

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Promising pilot - sign me up
by punterjoe / April 15, 2006 8:42 AM PDT

I'd add the podcast to my iTunes.
Is it really MP3 focused, or general audio/music focused, or even broader - say all the emerging IPTV media too?
However narrow or broad the focus, I'm hooked. When you post an rss link, I'll add it to my weekly media diet Happy
Joe in Boston

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Cool Beans!!
by RodderRodder / April 16, 2006 12:53 PM PDT

It sounded fine to me, so i'm not sure what the quality issue is supposed to be. Maybe i'll try it again on my PC and see. James' voice seems more or less like it always has(at from what I remember on Tech TV). Granted, the mediums and the staging of the show is different. Also, I don't agree with the comment about lessening of the hardware talk. Sure, most people listening to this will have a player already, but some may not. Plus, people are possibly in a market for a new player and there are choices to consider in that.

Maybe a section about headphones could be added. It has a place, after all, even though the the technology doesn't change that much.

I can't wait until the next one when you talk about Pandora(LOVE IT) and Last.FM. I've been wanting to tinker with it when I get some time.

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Good Idea
by alpabarot / April 19, 2006 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Cool Beans!!

I guess it comes down to what this show is targeting. This topic can wander down lots of paths: players, music download services, accessories, emerging technologies, multi-function devices, file formats, drm issues, upcoming bluetooth enabled car stereos, etc etc.

A segment showcasing an accessory per episode may be good. Examples such as wired headphones, bluetooth accessories, fm transmitters, coats with built in controllers (,,,

Honest reviews of new and old technologies. For example, I'd like to try a bluetooth headset for my smartphone (I use this for mp3s thanks to the 2GB Mini SD card and windows mobile) and have heard bluetooth connections are not reliable.

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Needs more of a 'hook' for me to get engaged...
by jojosho / April 19, 2006 12:56 AM PDT

The pilot left me a bit blah, actually. A combination of the odd sound quality of the voices together, the first few minutes that were a bit rough (no surprise in a beta, of course) and - the most critical - I'm not sure what specific content will be addressed. MP3 is pretty broad and the podcast intro doesn't really narrow the focus enough for me. MP3 music - where to find non-DRM music, new bands, etc. would be interesting to me. Hardware would be less interesting, but if you go that route, perhaps you could create a little more interest by taking 'sides', with V as the iPod/iTunes advocate and James as the advocate for non-Apple stuff. That might set the stage for more interesting debates. If I have a current solution (Apple or non-Apple) for example, why might I switch? What's involved? How's the sound quality of transcoded digital music from MP3 to AAC or vice versa - if I'm going to switch, I really don't want to rerip 100's of CDs... How do iTunes and WMP (or other players) compare? What about subscription music comparisons?

The idea has real merit, but need more focus, I think. The combination of hardware and content/software seems too diffuse for me.

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Long on info. Short on fun.
by scott_wilder / April 19, 2006 2:00 AM PDT

Remember that part of what makes BOL so great is the atmosphere of fun that pervades. Listening to Molly rant or Tom attempt to be the yoda of all things tech or you and your tivo stories is far more interesting than the news itself.

I love all of the info of MP3 Insider. You two did great there. Now put a little work into your "On Air Personalities"

I'm looking forward to the next installment.


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The James Kim Show
by xfile102 / April 19, 2006 2:10 AM PDT

Let me start out by saying I really like James Kim?s editorials and spots on CNET. I like his writing style, and most of the time the material. But this podcast almost seems like it should be the James Kim show. He blatantly railroaded the entire show, which I will get back to in a minute. But first, the show is delivered in a really rapid fire, tommy gun style, just stating a topic, maybe one sentence or two about it, and then, on to the next topic. The material and format lends itself better to a newscast than a podcast. The purpose of having multiple people on the show is for DISCUSSION. Otherwise, you just have a one sided monologue while the other person watches. But in this Podcast, James will announce the topic, start talking about it, then ask for Veronica?s feedback, and then, several words into her opinion or thoughts, he just cuts her off, shuts her down and moves on to the next topic. It seemed more like a platform for James to hear himself speak. I listened MANY times to see if I was just being too judgmental, but no, he just railroaded the entire thing. What makes BOL so amazing, and I think why it is so much more popular than similar shows like TWIT, is EQUALITY. There is a level field for everyone to voice their opinions. And I am not saying that now and then, there are not disagreements, but they are handled professionally and in good fun. There is a FUN atmosphere. Podcasts are all about PERSONALITY. James appears to have all the personality of Edward R Murrow on a Xanax and Halcion cocktail. I hear what other listeners said about the quality sounding different. The quality does not sound different; it is just James? dull monotone voice that drowns out 90% of the airtime. When Veronica speaks, you can hear the clarity, it is just that James? voice has a quality to it that sounds like the vocal version using Photoshop to haze an image to hide details, while still allowing you to make out the picture clearly. If CNET is looking to give James his own Podcast, then do it. Let him read quick news story headlines, make a comment and move to the next topic. He could go through 15 topics in a 10-15 minute podcast. But don?t insult the intelligence of the listeners AND the knowledge and experience of a co-host, by making it a Podcast for James to talk and then seemingly demean and run over his co-host side kick dummy. Because then it becomes less of a podcast on the innovations of technology in the audio world, and more like a bad ventriloquist show where the living actor in the show comes across as wooden as the dummy in his lap?..

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response to james kim show
by jameskim / April 19, 2006 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: The James Kim Show

hello and thanks for all the comments. they are extremely helpful. i have never hosted a podcast, so this is new to me. i also agree that the pace is too quick-- that's why these comments are helpful... i need more experience. i admit, thepace of the beta podcast was way too quick to be enjoyable.

originally, this was to be a (duller) single host show. When t e opportunity arose to add Veronica, i took it-- another voice makes it an active discussion. anyway, we plan to do waht it takes to make this show interesting and worthwhile. this week, we'll try taking on a single topic, and open up the discussion. i will have jasmine france on air to join us as well.

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by xfile102 / April 19, 2006 2:59 AM PDT

That is cool. It is awesome that you take an active interest in doing it right. I think revolving guests could be cool, and it would also work to have a regular co-host. The show was packed with info, some of witch was already reviewed on BOL, but still very informative. I think with a couple of shows under the belt, controlling the pace, and leaving a little room for discussion, it could be great. You have awesome input on the site, I look forward to your expression in Audio format in the future.

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Practice Makes Better
by brown sabbath / October 25, 2006 7:23 AM PDT

James/Veronica and all you others reading...

This is definitely one I'll be keeping track of. I hope it gets better with each episode, and it was cool to hear Veronica drop the name I thought I was the only nerd out there.-

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have you ever heard of "constructive criticism"?
by robstak / April 22, 2006 12:42 PM PDT
In reply to: The James Kim Show

wow man, that was a pretty heated post. just because you dont have to say something in person doesn't mean you should be rude... i think james desereves an apology! Happy

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thanks for all the feedback!
by jameskim / April 19, 2006 2:58 AM PDT

your ideas and comments will help the show get better. please listen to the next episode-- it will incorporate many of your suggestions.

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